BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — House Bill 1503 would provide for a legislative management study and an expiration date for all foreign entity purchases of our land –and as previously reported, fellow bill 1135 would prevent foreign governments from buying land in the state, excluding land owned by Canada.

Even though both bills aim to keep North Dakota land safe and secure, many questions came up when they were discussed in the house. It seems the rising issue is our current relationships with foreign countries — as well as the threats that may arise if our state pulls out of relationships with them. Representative Jeff Magrum, in particular, asked the following question to the house: “Do you know if the Chinese use artificial intelligence to find the gaps in all of our laws so they can navigate through?”

“That’s an interesting question,” answered Agribusiness and National Security Expert Ross Kennedy. “It’s one that I’ve been dealing with for a couple of weeks ago with one of the groups within the Pentagon. Do we get sort of left with that threat, right preventing it from being started? How do we identify our own parcels that might be of high interest and move to protect them in some way? The short answer is yes — they absolutely do they use some incredibly deep, modeling capabilities that are built on the back of open source data, as well as the data they still have, things that we know were happening, and are publicly reported upon they just have made it targeting our assets and infrastructure because of the looseness of a lot of our property laws.”

However, when it comes to local farmers and supporters of the bills, what foreign countries may think of us is trumped by our need to protect our land, food security, and more.